The Beverly Hills City Council unanimously agreed last week to work on a plan to develop autonomous shuttles which will provide transportation for the citizens of Beverly Hills.
The idea is to create a fleet of city-owned driverless shuttles which will act as part of a municipal on-demand transportation service picking up and dropping off individuals at virtually any spot in the city.
So, instead of hiring an Uber driver or calling for a taxi, the people of Beverly Hills will be able to call for and hop in driverless shuttles that will take them anywhere in the city they want to go.
The Beverly Hills City Council wants to pave the way for autonomous vehicles to occupy roads in the United States – without breaking the budget of their riders.
Until recently, purchasing a vehicle with self-driving capabilities has been a recent experience reserved for the wealthy.
Tesla recently received over 325,000 reservations of its upcoming Model 3 vehicle, which has a moderately high price tag of $35,000 – roughly half the price of any Tesla vehicle prior. One of the key features of a Tesla vehicle that has so many people eagerly standing in line for it: autonomous driving.
From a safety standpoint, autonomous vehicles are proven to be as safe – if not safer – than ones driven by a human.
According to several studies, over 90% of all vehicle accidents are caused by human error. This includes driving while distracted, intoxicated, or simple lapse in judgement.
Beverly Hills hasn’t yet decided which technology to use
Google’s Self-Driving Car Project has already exceeded 1.7 million miles of autonomous driving on US roadways in cities including: Mountain View, CA, Austin, TX, Kirkland, TA, and Metro Phoenix, AZ.
During all that time, not one accident out of the 11 that Google was involved in was attributed to the autonomous vehicle.
Even a city with as small of a footprint as Beverly Hills’ 5.7 square miles could benefit greatly from this initiative. Traffic congestion, driver costs, the need for parking spaces, and the amount of accidents taking place in its roadways stand to be reduced by an accessible fleet of autonomous vehicles.
This autonomous vehicle program will be discussed in greater detail during a public summit set to be held this fall. Attendees will receive demonstration rides and witness expert-lead panel discussions on the new program.